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"This is a heck of a way to resolve a longstanding family dispute."
That comment on Wednesday from federal Judge William C. Lee in Fort Wayne on Wednesday summed up his feelings as he sentenced a Markle man, Troy Hott, to 30 months in prison for hiring somone to kill his father, Don Hott of Decatur.
However, Troy Hott got credit for time spent in jail and will serve only 15 more months, which he will be allowed to do in the Huntington County Jail. He will be on probation for two years after his release.
The case was filed in federal court because Hott used a computer to contact a supposed hitman, who actually was an undercover agent for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Committing a crime while using a computer, which has interstate commerce and communication capabilities, is a federal offense.
Members of the Hott family and many friends filled every seat in the largest courtroom in the Fort Wayne federal district court building for the emotional hearing as they supported the father and the son.
The younger Hott cried as he apologized to everyone and, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported in this morning's edition, said, "I'm so very sorry. I have a lot to do to save my family. I promise to never be in trouble again."
At a hearing in April, Don Hott, a graduate of Decatur High School, offered full forgiveness to his son and even asked for his son's forgiveness for not having been a good father.
Judge Lee noted that Troy Hott is now taking medications that are controlling his anxiety and depression problems.
The judge also ordered Troy Hott to pay a fine of $20,000, saying the case "has engaged the federal government in a huge production. The taxpayers deserve a little consideration," according to the Journal Gazette's detailed account.